The course of true love never did run smooth. But lately it’s been running downright dangerous—with dating scams emptying victims’ bank accounts and leaving would-be sweethearts broken both emotionally and financially.
Today Dallas-based Match Group tried to do something about it. It announced the launch of a global public awareness campaign to help daters and consumers “date safer” and “stay protected against the different forms of online fraud.”
The parent company of Tinder, Match, Hinge, Plenty of Fish, Meetic, and OurTime said that throughout this month, users of all those apps will begin receiving messages alerting them to tips and common behaviors that could be signs of potential scams. The tips were created with the help of law enforcement and financial exploitation experts, the company said.
The tips will be sent via an in-app message in the Tinder and Meetic’s apps, and through notifications to users on Match, Hinge, Plenty of Fish, and OurTime.
“As a former detective and special agent, I know firsthand how scammers lure unsuspecting individuals into giving personal information and ultimately money – including preying on those looking for love or companionship,” Buddy Loomis, senior director of law enforcement operations and investigations at Match Group, said in a statement. “It’s the reason we’re committed to investing in building the safety tools available to users by leveraging technology and resources that aim to help users protect themselves from the harms in the world around them and make safer connections.”
FTC: Over $300M in reported losses each year
Match cited Federal Trade Commission data showing that romance scams reported in the U.S. lead to higher losses than any other type of scam—with over $300 million in reported losses each year since 2020.
And for individual victims, we’re not talking nickels and dimes here. In 2022, the average reported loss was over $190,000, up from $120,000 in 2021. That’s according to data from the Global Anti-Scam Organization.
Match’s key scam-avoiding tips
Match’s advice? Keep the connection within the dating app as long as possible, instead of being lured quickly by a potential scammer to another platform. Use verification tools in the apps. Pass on anyone giving you crypto or investment “advice.” Be wary of anyone saying you could get a big return by investing with them. Don’t fall for sob stories about someone needing an operation, etc. And above, all stay vigilant.
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